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This page was last updated on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 12:58:34 AM

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Welcome: Because of the amount of comments, support and input from members of the public having the total archive of comments on one page is now impractical. We have now separated the comments by year. 
If this is your first visit to the site I strongly recommend that you start from the beginning  (1999) as there are some great stories and links.

Comments for the year 2007

Email / Date

Hi Sir, I was on the Otaki, Hurunui, and others, but have nothing to add to your ships history, but I would like to ask if there is any site where I could check there log books, It would make for very interesting reading.. G A English

I would like to trace a photograph of MV Papanui on which my grandfather served during the Second World War. I cannot see this on your website. Could you please help as my father has his discharge book and we are trying to trace all of the vessels noted within it. Thank you for your help.

Dear Mr Shaw, I was just surfing the net and came across this wonderful site. My name is John Lambert and my uncle was an engineer with the New Zealand Shipping Company for many years, his name was Fred Lambert, does anyone remember him ? Unfortunately Fred passed away several years ago now but I still think of him often. I would love to hear from any of his old colleagues and share their memories of him. Regards John Lambert

Hi Jeffrey, I sailed out to NZ in 1947 aged 2 and a half on the Rangitata and was brought back to England by my parents on her sister ship the Rangitiki, a ship fit for a god even though she took me from New Zealand, she was a wonderful ship with a equaly brilliant crew. The Captain was one mister Smith I believe, The deck steward was called jock for obvious reasons. We lost one old man who died on route and was buried at sea. Apart from my mother, father, sister and two brothers, the only pasenger I remember was a young woman from Pitciarn Island who was going home after an apendix operation in NZ. We ran through a terific storm in the pacific and had to have repairs to the propshaft but still made it on time, and I won the fancy dress for kids (as a rabbit) I still have my crossing the line certificate from the Rangitata, I won the fancy dress on her too! (a chicken) I will rake out any technical data and memorabilia that I can from my big brother and if it is of interest will send info or email, it will all be tourist class stuff as that's how we travelled both ways. Great hearing from everyone. Bernard L Bartram

Hello I am looking for any info in relation to the "Kaipaki". My late father in law, Kenneth Norman Hansen was third engineer, promoted to Chief Engineer by default during the second world war. We have some info, however would be thrilled to contact others who may have had relatives on the vessel at the same time. My number in Australia is 0412636594 or 07-38418724 Best Regards Justin Riseley


To Janet Simpson Garrett, I was interested to note reference to the SS Captain Hobson on the 1st Jan 2007 edition of the West Australian. Although I did not travel as an immigrant to New Zealand I did travel as a UK National Serviceman on that ship in early August 1954. Seventy of us were brought down from Kure in Japan to Singapore. We had been unable to board a larger ship going to the UK as the Royal Scots Regiment en-route to Egypt were over-manned. I was in R.E.M.E. and had completed eleven months in Korea. i am in possession of a postcard of the ship and another showing a four berth cabin. If these are of any interest to you I would be happy to copy them and send them to you. Hoping you are successful in your project. Kind regards John Parsons


I was an electrician on the Rangitiki voyage 84 1961 and on the homeward leg of the voyage New Zealand to London via Peru, one week out from NZ the bottom skirt of a piston came disconnected and dropped out of the piston liner (Doxford opposed piston engines) the engine stopped in about 1rpm but demolished that unit. We limped into Callao one engine at about 8 knots (twin screw ship) Perivian shore engineers dismantled the unit and sealed of the scavenges with welded steel plates and we came home to the UK on one 6 legged engine & one five legged engine. I left the Rangitiki in London that trip but wonder how many voyages after that voyage 84. The ship was scrapped in 1962. P/S I am also in touch with a wartime engineer who sailed on the Rangitiki whilst it was engined with Sulzer engines. The ship was rengined in a refit in 1948. We both live in Christchurch New Zealand regards Noel Martin


Dear Mr Shaw
As a young sos I went on board the ill fated Samkey to sign on with two Shipmates from a previous trip. Sid Holland an able Seaman was accepted and I believed signed on. I was going to sign on, but decided at the last moment not to. I wonder if it is possible to find out if Sid Holland did sail with her and was lost.
Sincerely S Mills


Another passer by! I would like to add a late tribute to all merchant mariners, particularly those serving RMS Rangitata during the war years. I was evacuated to New Zealand, leaving Liverpool Sep 1940 aboard Rangitata. We had the most exciting voyage, everything from U-boat attack to the pleasures of Panama and the experience of crossing that ever blue Pacific. Wonderful, memorable days. Sadly, after a blissful 5 years, I had to return to UK late 1945 on SS Themistocles. Since then, I have travelled a great deal of the world but there has been nothing to match my short period with NZ Shipping Company's finest! Today's passengers on "holiday camps at sea" have no idea what they are missing!


Hi, have just found your superb site by accident, i was a deck boy on M.V. HAPARANGI,s last voyage. From Avonmouth to Kiwi and Japan, then sadly to the scrap yard in Taiwan. Steve Duff.

Do you have a photo of the PAPAROA built 1899 sank 1926.  Ian

Hi, my name is Max Fielding and I sailed on NZSCO and federal steam ships on the MANZ run. MV KAITUNA in 1948, and the SS.PIPIRIKI 1949/1950.This ship was captained by H.R.M.Smith who allowed and officiated a crossing the line ceremony on the 18th November 1949.I still have the certificate issued to each mariner who underwent the ordeal.

Dry docking in New York gave the crew ample shore leave to enjoy this great city. I eventually discharged this ship at Swansea and travelled to London where I stayed with the family Treadwell at Hillington Heath. I decided to return to Australia and November 1950 joined the MV Suffolk at Liverpool. What a trip, several fires on the canvas coverings of the aft hatches from sparks from the funnel and then a few days out of Capetown one of the twin screw motors blew. We limped into Capetown and were delayed whilst engine room wreakage was cleared. To continue on one to two turns of the wheel had to be held to steer. I discharged from this ship at Melboue 1951 and now reside in Sydney.


Dear Mr Shaw I would like to hear from anyone that can remember Fred Lambert who worked for NZSC through the 1960's and 70's. Thanks John Lambert

Hi my Grandfather was on the S S Otaki and I wonder where I could get more information on this, Frances Lawrie

What a fascinating site to stumble upon! I joined the RAKAIA as a deck cadet in Aug 65 along with 'Gus' Guthrie, Ian Willets, 'Tex' Pacey, 'Oz', John Layte and Ian Perry. I left her in March 65 and have often wondered what happened to those guys, or any others that served on her during that period. I still have my Report book and several photos!  David MacMahon


Hi,I was on the Nottingham in 62, I still have nightmares about that eleven month trip under Cpt: Noble. I remember most of the crew and some of them where not nice people. Eddie

I was interested to read Noel Martin's account of the engine failure on the Rangitiki. We must have been on the ship together as that was my first trip as a Third Engineer. Don't think we ever found out what caused the failure. I do remember all the Engine Room Crew working long hours for a number of days on the futile (and sometimes dangerous) task of trying to remove all the broken bits. Meanwhile the Junior Engineers were left to look after the only engine capable of getting us across the rest of the Pacific! Not sure the Chief got his priorities right. I recall the Shore Gang in Callao removed all the broken bits in a couple of days with specialist equipment. Temporary repairs were completed in about five days before we set sail for UK. Len Chapman


Another new one just dropped anchor for the first time on this site, The names Arthur (ex 2nd Cook, Cook, Cat/off) Well, Dropped about two hours ago, But a wonderful nostalgic two hours it's been thank you. I'm a little disappointed though at the lack of attention to the voyages of those two great NZSC ships M.V's Taupo & Matoura, What happened, Does no one have any happy memories of them? cerca 69 - 70,71. Taupo winner of the Auckland cup twice if memory serves, Matches played on that iffy mountain side pitch! Personally cut my own sea going teeth on the 'Taupo', great voyage, six months on the 'Aus' coast, Learnt a hell of a lot from the crew and had some great runs ashore,  Just wish I could remember all their names. Dec69- Aug70,Cook by the name off Derick (liners gone) Smith, that was his cry when ever the engine stopped at sea, Second steward 'Arthur' (caused some consternation when 'Doc' Used his considerable decibels) And dear old 'Jim Riddly' (ass stwd) of "Naff off" fame, still around guys and Galls. Second steward on 'Matoura' can't remember his name, maybe someone can refresh my memory? Big guy, walked round all day in cut down boiler suit; relied on his size & bully boy tactics to get what he wanted,  Soon brought down to size after a visit to the snake pit, he picked on one of his old acquaintances, Never saw him again after that night, Ah happy days. Nice reminiscing with you all, watch this space I might pop back with some more tales if no one objects?  Again, Great site, Long may you sail.  Arthur Tillotson


what a really interesting site and have enjoyed reading comments. Both of my parents were working on the ships (e.g. Rangitane) late 1950's and early 60's. mum (Anne Lee) as a children's stewardess and dad (Alan Watters) as a steward. I have some colour photographic slides from this era of ships, docks, panama canal suez canal ships ship life boat drill London docks Gibraltar Colombo harbour Singapore Port Chalmers Lyttleton Wellington Auckland Tahiti was wondering if anyone is interested in them or news/stories about my mum and dad! Ruth Anstee


I travelled to England on the Ruahine in 1958 and returned to New Zealand (Wellington) in 1959 on the Port Wellington, which was a freighter ship and carried only 14 passengers with my being the only child. On the second trip I remember a "Michael" who I think was the second officer. If anyone who was on either of thesse journeys reads this entry, I would love to hear from you. Deborah Wheadon (Melbourne Australia).


Please I hope that somewhere there may be someone who knew my father and could give me some information. He was a captain for the New Zealand shipping co in the 1950s and 60s. His name was Dean Barry Brittain and I know his last command was the Turakina. I also believe he was on the Rangitata, Runahine and Whankatane.  He died when I was very young and it would be a joy to hear from someone who knew him. I am doing a family history and far too many blanks about the days on board have become obvious. My mother Rhoda sailed with him after wives were allowed but she died several years ago and with here all the stories I would now like to know. If any interest I have many log books and charts belonging to my father of time and wondered what to do with these. My name is Jane and I now live in Brisbane, any help would be so appreciated Thanking you  Jane


Hugh Scott Munro, My father Hugh Scott Munro died today, 22nd February 2007. He was Chief Engineer with New Zealand Shipping Company until his retirement in 1983. If anyone who sailed with him wishes to contact me then my e-mail address Regards, Finlay Munro.



I am trying to trace information on a Liberty ship named the "Sam Key". In 1948 I was serving as the radio officer on the "City of St Albans", another Liberty ship, and we were in Auckland loading for a return trip to the Eastern Seabord of the USA and Canada. The "Sam Key" was also loading in the same dock. As I had constant radio transmitter trouble I went on the "Sam Key" to see if the R/O on board had had similar problems. Unfortunately it had different equipment. The "Sam Key" sailed several days before us.  We maintained contact for several days before getting out of range. Some time after this I received an all station message from an American Naval station saying that the "Samkey" was over due at some place or other, I have forgotten where. This was later cancelled but another one was issued a few days later. In your page for 2004 someone enquired about the "Sam Key" which had been lost in the Bermuda Triangle! Strangely enough there is no mention of a am Key" in the list of Liberty Ships built. Any details would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes Bob Emmett


We are trying to find JOHN AYRES (TROG) who sailed as a cadet on m.v. Durham from 1956- 1959. If anyone has any information where he can be contacted this would be greatly appreciated. Many Thanks, Scott Gilchrist, Henry McCutchan, Peter Matthews


Hi my name is Andrew Lennox and I am looking for information on Norm Robertson (not sure of the spelling of Robertson) who may have been on any of the following ships, Rangitiki, Rangitane, Rangitoto, Remurea, Turakina or Haparangi, in 1965,66 as an engineer. He was from Scotland. If anybody knows of him or his current whereabouts please contact me on 021 401 359 or 078831558 many thanks


My grandfather - Thomas Wilson - was a bedroom steward on the Rangitiki 2. He was drowned in Waitemate Harbour on the 30th March 1954 and buried in New Zealand.  We would love to find a picture of the Rangitiki 2 to add to our family history. Do you know where we might obtain one? Many thanks Dr Barry Wilson The Vicarage Vicarage Lane Madeley Cheshire England CW3 9PQ


Re New Zealand Shipping Company post war vessels.

I can add a few dates of completion for ships and also refer to a couple of books which can add further information:

MV RANGITOTO, built 1949

MV RANGITANE built 1949

MV RUAHINE built 1951

MV SUSSEX built 1949

MV NOTTINGHAM built 1950

SS DORSET built 1949 (if is the vessel constructed by the firm Alexander Stephen and Sons, Linthouse).

Pictures on many of these ships and information about them can be found in:

Stewart, I.G., The ships that serve New Zealand, volume 1 British and European Lines, Wellington, Reed, 1964.

I am unsure of the fate of RANGITOTO but she is well covered in Scott Baty's book "Ships that passed" (1984). (page 184).

Finally re CAMBRIDGE. My understanding was that she was built as SUSSEX in 1937 (PAREORA was not used), became PALANA in 1946 as part of the P & O fleet, and became CAMBRIDGE in 1954 as part of the F.S.N. Co. fleet. She was sold for scrap to Japan in 1962.

Tony Cavanagh


In response to Bob Emmett's enquiry and for general interest, the Liberty ship "Carl Thusgaard" was renamed "Samkey" on 24.12.1943. Managed by NZSCo., she left London for Santiago, Cuba in ballast on 24.1.48 and was last reported 31.1.48 in 41o48'N-34o00'W. Presumed foundered shortly afterwards when ballast shifted in rough weather.

This information comes from the book "Crossed Flags" published in 1997 by the World Ship Society.

The Company's "Leicester", ex "Samesk", was nearly lost in similar circumstances during September 1948 but survived under a variety of names until scrapped in 1966.


Dear Sir, Came across NZSO by chance. I started off as a cabin boy in the MV Whakatane in 1957. The crew joined her on her second set of voyages (three trips) per signing in New York she was undergoing repairs in Todd Shipyard. I spent just under 18 months on her which was the trip time of three voyages. When we were on the ship it was called the MANZ run. If you or anyone else is interested I have some slide photos that I took of when the Whakatane was in dry dock in New York and going through the Panama Canal in the 50s. I could email these to anyone who is interested. I am now 66 years old and retired. Regards Doug Reed


Graham Peers here updating from 2004 l have heard from so many old sea buddies in the passed three year l think this sight is great even had a visit from Gary O keeffe ex-turakina came over to Canada from new Plymouth (nz) for two week vacation would like to hear from David (chas) Taylor radio Northumberland ,just heard from Dave Kilty he is retiring this year from the Canadian coast guard inspectors job. Still trying to find Biff Hammond 2nd eng Northumberland hope to hear from any of the old nzs crowd so for now happy sailing Graham


FURTHER TO MY MESSAGE Sept.2006 Great progress has been made with the organisation of a commemorative reunion to celebrate the 50th. anniversary of the OTAIO's maiden voyage from Liverpool in 1958. Most of the cadets who sailed on the first voyage have been contacted. However there are a few, out of the original 30 deck cadets, who have not been traced as yet. They are : Van Leer, R.Ashton, C.Dawes, 'Digger' Woodley, T.Bulkley and D.Quiggin. If anyone knows of their whereabouts please email me. This unique and memorable event will be held on Friday 13th.June 2008. Lunch will be at the Merseyside Marime Museum's restaurant and the following hours at a lounge bar at Crosby so that we can all reminisce, down invigorating beverages and have a splendid time. We are limited to 80 people but there are a few places left. The ties that were forged as 18 year olds can never be broken despite the passing of half a century.


Our Father (Donald Reid McLelland)

I can vaguely remember him. He was born on 19th February 1898 in Govan, Glasgow and died on 9th November 1945. I would have been only 4 years of age at the time when he was taken from my us. However, my research indicates that by all accounts he led a full life in his 47 years. He joined the The Royal Scots on 16th July 1915 and served in that Regiment until 4th June 1919. My research then shows that he joined the Black Watch on 4th April 1921. He then left the Black Watch and joined the 6th/7th regiment Black Watch on 31st December 1921. (What our father done between the period on leaving the Royal Scots and joining the Black Watch remains a mystery.) There he remained, in The Black Watch until he was discharged on 7th March 1924. Again there was a short period between the time he left the Army and enlisting in The Merchant Navy as a Fireman/Trimmer on the SS Teespool on 24th October 1925. This was the war years and he continued to serve in the ‘’Red Duster Navy’’ until 1943 sailing in many ships. Here was a man, our father, whom I knew very little about, who had served in the The Royal Scots, The Black Watch and the Merchant Navy. . For a total of approximately 28 years. I felt desperate to find out more. Especially his service within both the Army and The Merchant Navy. I will record the fact that he did find time to marry and have a family. Not once but twice... I cannot comment on his first marriage, if there was a break-up of the marriage or if his wife died. I suspect the latter because from this union there were three children in his care and they needed a mother. He then married a young woman 14 years his junior. This young woman was born 1912 and that would have made her 18years old when she married. Here was an 18 years old woman marrying a man 14 years her senior with three children the oldest not much younger than herself. That tells a story in itself. (Which I have no intentions of exploring at this time) From this union there were born five children. I will look on the time he spent in the Merchant Navy. His ‘’ Certificate of Discharge ‘’ Similar to a Log Book shows dates when taken on and discharged from a ship. This was an accountable document and meant a great deal to a Sailor. Lose this and your chance to get a quick berth is lost. During my research there was 2 entries I found particularly interesting and the more I delved into them the more I found myself being taken over by bouts of emotion. The two ships I wish to mention are the ‘’Port Denison’’ Official No; 1142397. A steam cargo ship with a tonnage of 8000 gross. And the other ‘’ N.C. Monberg ‘’ Official No; 167478 another steam ship and with a tonnage of 2301 gross. Both were not particularly large vessels. My father signed on the ‘’ Port Denison ‘’ and boarded her at Methil Docks on 23rd September 1940. Some time between that date and 26th September she left the docks as the Flagship holding the commodore of a Convoy holding 44 ships which were heading for Auckland in New Zealand. On the 26th September 1940 ! when 6 nautical miles N.E. off Peterhead in Scotland ‘’Port Denison’’ was attacked by Luftwaffe torpedoed and machine-gunned. With the lose of 16 of her crew. The remainder of which 8 landed safely and 2 were rescued. The ‘’ Port Deniston ‘’ sank the next day. My father was one of the lucky ones and landed safely at Methil docks. His Logbook confirms that his next ship was the N.C. Monberg signing on 5th November 1940 again at Methil Docks and was on that ship when she was torpedo by a German motor Torpedo boat on 15th Dec 1940,when on her way to London with a cargo of coal. The N.C Monberg sank with the loss of nine crew. My father was again one of the lucky ones. He officially signed off on the 30th December 1940. He then remained ashore for approximately 6 months recovering from injures received. Obviously the call of the sea or duty saw him return to Navy on 23rd July 1941. He continued in the Merchant Navy until he was discharged on medical grounds in 1944. God must have been on his side – or was he. No! The N.C Monbeg incident eventually caught up with him, to the extent that our father’s health began to deteriorate rapidly and as a result died on 9th November 1945. This left our mother with eight children (Andrew, Elizabeth & Donald) from his first marriage to a Margaret Oswald and (Tessa,Helen.Kathe,Ona and myself the youngest) from his second marriage to our mother Danalena Knewlands. This obviously must have been a devestating blow to mother and all her siblings.  I when going on 5 years of age could only vaguely remember sitting on my father’s knee but unfortunately cannot recall much that was going on around me. But, as I grew older I began to feel that I had missed out somewhere. As the years continued to roll by I developed a need to know and only recently I began to research his short life. The path I took, the verification of all the events uncovered, like any normal son gave me great satisfaction. I now know without doubt that a son does needs his father to help him on his journey through life especially in the earlier years. I feel extremely proud of his achievement in his short life which must have been ‘’Hellish’’ to say the least. There is one thing I did carry on from the memories of my Dad and that was to pursue a career in a Scottish regiment. ‘’The Black Watch’’. ‘’Father R.I.P.’’

Service history between 1915 & 1944 

a. Served in The Royal Scots 16th July 1915 - until 4th June 1919

b. I must assume he was working during this 2 year interval in his service career. His record of Employment shows he was a miner.

c. Served in The Black Watch 4th April 1921 - until 7th March 1924

d. Served in the Merchant Navy 14th October 1925 - until 17th January 1944

(When he was discharged as medically unfit for any further Merchant Navy service)

Research carried out by: - Allan H McLelland BEM (Retired Warrant Officer) Son of Donald McLelland

The Black Watch Army N0; 23661955

Dated 18th April 2007

Port Denison Visited Auckland 9 times between 1925 and 1939.

All you brave men of The Merchant Fleet should be extremely proud of yourselves.


I was going to scrap this email as it had no relationship whatso ever with the History Of New Zealand Shipping but it stayed as i felt the story was a powerful reminder to anyone who goes out to sea everyone is family.


Can you tell me what happened to the painted panels by English artist Ben Nicholson that were made for the Rangitane (2) when it was broken up in the 1970s. I would be most grateful for any information you could give me. Yours sincerely, Victoria Robson


Would like to hear from anyone who sailed on the Nottingham on her voyages in laate '70 and '71. I joined the Company in July 1967 as 2nd Radio Officer sailing Surrey from Gladstone Dock Liverpool in early July. Think we broke down 19 times on the way to Fremantle lulu of a fire before Fremantle I remember sitting in the Radio Room Chair anticipating sending an SOS- some baptism! Happy days on the Northumberland, Essex, Wharanui and Nottingham followed, spent an idllyic summer of '68 "Coasting the UK". Happy days indeed. The voyages on the Nottingham under skipper Albert Britten (?)were memorable times - we had a wonderful crew Murdo the Freezer , and Brian Curtis et al. I wonder how many of them are on the net?  Colin G. Anderson


Hello, is it just possible to get a colour photo of the S S ruapehu built 1901-1931 and if so what price, thanks Jim Crook

Dear Mr Shaw I am researching the Merchant Ships of Malta Convoy 'Operation Pedestal' 1942 and am hoping that you orone of your readers can tell me the name of the Master of SS Dorset, (New Zealand Shipping Company), at the time she was sunk 13th August 1942. Thank you. John White.


M.V. HERTFORD Official Number 182914 Launched by Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd - Newcastle in March 1948 and delivered to F.S.N.Co in December 1948.  I sailed on the MV Hertford on 2nd January 1959 from Victoria Docks in London to various ports around New Zealand via the Panama Canal. I was a young lad of 18 and on my second trip to sea. Ports of call were Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Lyttelton, Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Invercargill, and the coldest place I have ever been to Port Bluff. We eventually ended the voyage back in Liverpool on the 3rd July 1959. A great ship with some good memories. Richard Harvey (R693979)


Hi, I am John Graham I sailed to N.Z. on the Rangitoto leaving Royal Albert Dock on 10 Feb. 1961.I would dearly love to hear from Lee & Paula Easthope who I think went to Wellington. Lee and I were in the same cabin on "D deck" a friend of ours was Maisie Holt, if anyone else can remember this trip please contact me.


Hi I am ken reynard,I joined Remuera in June 1962 and remained with her until we left her in Hong Kong in Jan 65. I then joined Rangitoto in March 65 till Nov 66. I was a utility stwd on the Rem. and have happy memories of a happy ship. I remember the trip we had to evacuate people from the Azores after an earthquake. We only took them 20 miles to another island.We took on 360 evacuees using the crash boats as lifts to bring them on board from a couple of landing craft. Captain Lawson used to steer so close to the Pacific islands we would wave to people on the beach. I would like to hear from any galley crew of the Rem. or if anyone knows Tony Walachek & Peter Venner.


My name is Ray Jolliffe and I sailed on the Ruahine, Hurinui, Dorset and Whangaroa all in the engine room. anyone is interested contact me

Can anyone remember a cargo ship called SS Wainui which sailed to New Zealand via Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and Singapore in the late 1960s - possibly around 1968 -and if so, the name of the captain? many thanks  Kathleen Wynn


To whom it may concern or interested, I'm seeking information on a Surgeon ,Dr whom arrived in the colonies 1899 but I don't know the ship..... Currently I am in possession of his autograph book which contains some 800-900 early pioneers autographs from his homeland and all around the world. His name is Thomas Leslie Crooke born Mar 04 1861 Sheffield, England. He matriculated Edinburgh University in 1882 as a surgeon, signed the fly leaf page Sept 1882 which was also his 21st birthday year. He worked as as ships surgeon on the P&O Line then The NZ Shipping Line before arriving on NZ 1899. Possibly the SS Rimutaka or Ruahine? Of Interest: Some of his amassed autographs I believe are from a family of apprentices to captains and masters, to the Commodore of the NZ Shipping Line. T.S.Weston :(Thomas Shailor) Sept 11 1861 SS Ruahine died London. Commodore. Much history involved great sea adventures.

Arthur.W.McKellar: May 19? Captain, Master
E.G.Wotton: (Edmund Garner) 1864 Jan 3 Marine Engineer,
ss Tekoa ,Ruapehu, rejoined as 3rd engineer ss Tekoa
J.H.Squires Oct 18? RMS Rimutaka
Alfred Stevens:Feb 5 1846 Captain
Geo.W.Gordon: (George) Oct 27 1861 Master "Java"

Archibald Hamilton Ryley:July 21 1877 Chief Officer Kaipara 1904 Fourth officer Tekoa, Rimutaka, and Kaikoura then Otarama 2nd Officer, Paparoa, chief officer ss Rakanoa. transfered Kaipara, obtained Master 1901.

I believe most of these men were troop carriers in WW1 Many prominent people appear in the Drs autograph book so I will keep this to the Maritime. Hoping a record and ship name will appear of Thomas Leslie Crooke sailing into NZ 1899.  With thanks and appreciation Shane P Duffy Christchurch, NZ.


Looking for any descendants of Peter and Mary McLean (nee  Moon) who immigrated from Glasgow to New Zealand between 1925 and 1935 with six or seven of their children. My grandmother Mary was their child who remained in Glasgow as she had already met and fell in love with my grandfather (James McDonald). Any info would be much appreciated.   Maria McMillan (nee McDonald)


Please can you help. I am trying to find out more information about an old ship of the NZ Shipping Co "The Paparoa" around 1963/64. I am trying to find info out for my father in law who was an able seaman aboard the Paparoa by the name of Ralph Tennent (known as Barney). We know that in 1970 the ship was broken up but would love to find out more about it's history and crew list for that time. are you able to help out please or maybe point me in the right direction of someone who can many thanks Paula Tennent


Hi We are working on our family tree and we are trying to establish what happened to the vessel 'Waimate (2)'. Our records indicate a deceased relative, John Bright Makepeace was the Commander of this ship in 1919.  The table above (item 31) states that this vessel was wrecked on 18/6/25. We are keen to understand what happened to the crew, passengers and ship to enable us to update our family tree. We are interested to know if John Bright Makepeace was still the commander of this ship at the time it was wrecked. Could you please confirm if you have any specific information relating to this vessel or where we may be able to obtain this information from. Regards,  Linda McGuinness


I am looking for information on a Charles Brown Scott Seaman who died at sea on or about the 14/02/1990 of the coast of Bundaberg Queensland Australia Can any one help me please Thank you Wayne Woodward

Hi, Several of us here are keen to have a model made of the Tongariro which sank near here in NZ 1916. We have good photographs but are keen to acquire more detail such as a copy of the General Arrangement of the ship...or any other plans that may assist Cheers Will Coop...


A small group of us are interested in having a model made of the SS Tongariro which sank  nr here in 1916.We have some photos but the model man is really in need of some more detail. He would like a copy of the General Arrangement most of all. Cheers Will Coop
Okepuha Stn
PO Box 1, Mahia 4166
P - 06-8375842


Vessels_of_New_Zealand_Shipping: MV Palana - struck rock/reef off Mackay 1950-51 My father, Neil Todkill, was the salvage diver, from Brisbane. Mrs V Knox

I was an engineer on the Tyrone which was part of the Avenue Shipping Co.and we did seem to have some connection to the NZ Shipping Co as cargos and similar stuff seemed to be arranged via them. Perhaps they were just agents for the Avenue Co. as this was almost 50 years ago, Just a bit of trivia stuck in my mind, Regards  Brian Hopgood


hello shipmates i signed on board the samkey 1947 as a.b which was as we now know her last but one round trip we were running mostly between nz ports and makatea loading phosphates on returning yo uk we paid off in london 29.12 1947 on hearing that my fiancee was ill in hospital exeter i decided to come home to see her during the time i was home the samkey sailed and we all know now what happened during the 12 months i was on her we had a exellent crew from the master down to the deck boy i cannot recall any arguments or falling out amongst the crew during this time if it had not happened for me to go home i would have rejoined her with the same crew of course but life is not like that i made the sea my career nearly 50 years with a masters certificate under my belt so i think it was destiny that my girl friend tripped over an anchor on the beach and injured herself i have since found an old shipmate from that trip mr fred honisett i have loads of photos .how could anyone forget the samkey at tahiti on bastille day!! cheers and beers john chapman


As a 21yr old I joind the Northumbreland in june 1965 in London . I stood by for 14 days then sailed on the 11 th of June for N.Z. AS The Junior Engineer I was sea sick as soon as we got into the channel and well into the bay of biscay.We arrived at Curasao and took on bunkers then proceeded towards Panama. We were half way there when at 08.30 there was an almighty thump and the deck heaved , the alarm went off the third said get your gear on and get down below somthing has happened . The balance weight had come off no 10 crank and blew the doors 7,8,9,10 crankcases and burst a hole in the sump. We made Colon on one engine and stopped over for two or three days . Yanks came on and took deflections. declaired no damage to the crankshaft. because of our hold up our Chief went home on leave to Austrailia. Who was his replacement non other than Chief Engineer Jim Clark . Well he worked us like slaves all the way to N.Z. across the pacific strippin! down that Engine.When we arrived in N.Z. life was just as bad He worked us from 08.00-17.00 every day got so bad some off the Engineers did a bunk for a few days We finaly ended up fully loaded out on the breakwater at Lyttelton harbour for a few weeks , there was a rebellion there as well us Engineers organised a party and invited as many girls as we could . When the booze arrived with the fifth Engineer in a taxi along with girls the deck officers would not let us aboard , so we just had a party on the quay, with the Captain and the deck officerts and our Chief Engineer all watching us partying .We finaly set sail for the U.K. everything went well till a bearing on the camshaft for one of the exhust flaps had to be replaced as it was a rush job it was made a bit on the tight side so rather than stop again the Engineers had to squirt the bearing with oil evry time they passed it. I ended up doing it every two hours after my watch because i got into a fight in the engine room with the nineth engineer for a week in the tropics that ! was my punishment. As for the Chief no one liked him ,but in his defence he knew his job and that Engineroom ran beautyfully all the way home. We arrived home end off december. Coasted Hull, London & Liverpool , then paid off. I have nice memories on board the Northumberland as short a time as it was and the Company was a smashing outfit to sail with many thanks for the memories N.Z. Shipping Company. Ian J G W Thomson


I would like to arrange a reunion of cadets who joined MV Otaio in May 1969. I have lost touch with a couple and it would be great to locate them again. The 'lost souls' are Bruce Hardy and Carl (Roly) Rolaston. If anyone knows of their whereabouts it would be great to hear from you. Gary Jones


Just Stumbled on this amazing site while searching for names of ships I served on in the 60's/70's. I was amused by Archie Clarks memories of the engine failure on the "Essex". I joined the "Northumberland" as EDH in May 1965 for the HT run from Hull to Victoria Docks then signed on FG in June for New Zealand after which the ship was expected to go on the MANZ run. The engine configuration was the same as the "Essex" twin Sulzer diesels driving a single screw through electro magnetic gearboxes. Approaching the entrace to Panama there was an almightly bang from the engine room and the ship lost way. Eventually made it into the harbour where a tug took us in tow. Their had been an internal explosion in one engine. Alongside in Panama for about a week having remaining engine overhauled for passage to NZ. Through Panama with tug escort then 30 days at sea at a max speed of about 8 knots. One port before Auckland to off load some cargo for an oil refinery, then Auckland. It seemed as if about a thousand shore enginers joined the ship and I can remember large lumps of miss-shaped metal coming up out the engine room. Can't remember how long in Auckland but it must have been a couple of weeks or longer. Any event sailed for sea trials, happy days two engines and 15/16 knots. Off to Lyttleton, approaching the berth almighty bang from the engine room.  Seemed one of the elctro arboxes had shed its drive shaft which in turn caused the other gearbox serious damage which in turn caused the breakage of the crankshaft in both engines. Not being an engineer I do not have the technical reasons. End result tied up on a layby berth in Lyttleton for about six or seven weeks or longer awaiting spares and undergoing repairs. After which we loaded a cargo for the UK/Continent as MANZ run taken over by another company ship, arriving in Liverpool on 6th December 1965. Despite the mechanical problems the "Northumberland" was a super ship with a first class young crew. We were all sorry to have to return to the UK after having expecting to be away for a couple of years. Happy Days. I was also on "Rangitoto" - 9/63 to 1/64 "Ruahine" 4/64 - 8/64 "Dorset" HT 9/64 - 10/64 "Whangaroa" 10/64 - 4/65 then "Northumberland" Then working by in KGV saw Shaw Savilles "Laurentic" arrive from her maiden voyage,liked the look of the ship, applied for and got taken on on her and spent the remainder of my seagoing time with Shaw Saville.  Paul Gloyens


I have a copy of a concert programme held on board the SS Papanui Plymouth dated 20 July 1900 with all passenger names, and photos of officers and captain.  Joy Tawhiao

Can you help me please? I am a retired Master Mariner, and was taken, by my father, also a Master, in the year somewhere about 1946-47, to Penarth Docks in South Wales, UK, to see the last two of the fully rigged sailing ships, which were lying there, full of grain, used by the Ministry of Food as storeships. I have looked up the history of "PAMIR" and "PASSAT" and find reference that they were run by New Zealand during the latter years of the war, but in the history of the PAMIR, no mention is made of the ships being in South Wales at that time - I seem to remember that they had to tow the ships out into the Brsitol Channel, as there were so many rats on board - I don't know if that was true. Any light you may be able to throw on this subject would be gratefully received. Alan C. Enos.


For Alan Enos

Found this reference to Pamir in Penarth... "In 1950 two four-masted barques, the Pamir and Passat arrived outside Ranks Mills loaded with cargoes of barley grain in sacks from Australia. They had previously been laid up in Penarth Docks waiting for permission to unload. During this time rats that infested the ship took full advantage of the vast quantity of food available to them and increased their numbers. When the ships finally arrived in Barry and the hatch covers were taken off, it revealed a sea of rats and new names for the ships, The Rat Ships. An appeal went out for volunteers who owned terriers or any other dogs capable of killing rats to turn up on the dockside. 5,000 rats were estimated to have been killed whilst unloading the Pamir and 3,000 were gassed when the ship was being fumigated after discharging her cargo. The Pamir left Barry under tow for Penarth, with Capt. Hagerstrand and 12 licensed riggers as crew, where it joined the Passat until sold for scrap. Both ships were considered to be uneconomic! al to run. The ships were later bought by a German shipowner who had six cylinder oil engines installed in them. They were used until he finally sold them to the Pamir / Passat Cadet Sail Training Association. On 21st September 1957 the Pamir, outward bound from Buenos Aires to Hamburg was lost in a storm. Out of a crew of eighty-six, consisting mainly of cadets, there were only six survivors. The Passat on her way to Hamburg nearly suffered the same fate as the Pamir and took shelter in Lisbon. The training of cadets ceased and she was sold to the city of Lubeck to be used by nautical school at Travemunde as living quarters for its cadets." In 1957 I was a "first trip" Engineer Cadet on the mv Hauraki on a round the world voyage Liverpool-Cape Hope-Australia-New Zealand-New York-Liverpool. On the the leg from Panama to New York the Hauraki went on to "stand by" and took part in the search for the Pamir for about two days. Len Chapman


Dear sir, i am a 72 year old seeking information and hopefully a photo of the sailing vessel, Invererne chartered by NZ shipping between 1873--1877. My great grand parents came to NZ aboard her, leaving England [portsmouth i think ] on the 30th oct,1874, arriving Auckland New Zealand 29th January 1875, i have tried everywhere to get my hands on a photocopy of this vessel, i did get some information on the net that a guy had seen a postcard of it but did not have a copy himself, please do you have a copy in your archives, if so i would be prepared to pay for a copy, hoping you can help me. Regards Faye Pedersen
PS my great grand parents were Mr & Mrs George Harrison and family.


I'm hoping to find the crew list for the MV Wanganella that docked in Sydney May 1950. Any help or suggestions as to where i might find this list would be greatly appreciated. Thank You Kindly Paulette Bode're

Can anyone help me with a photo copy of the sailing vessel Invererne, chartered by nz shipping between 1873-- 1878 sailing from England to Auckland NZ thank you Faye

Jeffrey, I have been looking for this site for years, and found it by accident, so, for most of the past week I have been reading all the past postings, I agree with all the correspondence, NZSco/FSNco were a great company to work for. I left T/S Vindicatrix a couple of months before my 16th birthday in 1960,ending up as senior boy, was given a railway warrent to get me to Royal Albert dock,and directions to the New Zealand Shipping co offices there. I was assigned to the Rangitane,as stewards boy, due to sail to Auckland in four days, so they gave me two days to get home, pack some more clothes and say goodbye to mum for about five months. It was to be the first trip of many, on different ships, but I had the time of my life. The next three trips were on the old Norfolk, March 61, to January 62, a really fine old lady, then a change to the Port Line, two trips on Port Townsville to Australia and the far east, then back to the Rangitane for two last trips to New Zealand, I still miss the life I had then, but we all move on. Regards, Dick Reed


My uncle, George Stewart, originally from Lossiemouth in Scotland worked on the Rangitata from the late thirties until about 1947. I've been rummaging around on the internet to see what I can find out about the ship and the people who sailed on it. So far, I'm doing fairly well, but if there's anybody out there who can help in any way, I'd be very grateful - as will he - he's still with us, so if anybody knew him, I'm sure he'd be pleased to hear from you. Thanks in advance, Graham Williams


I am looking for crew lists from 1960 to1961 . Rangitiki, Rangtoto, Rangitani.? Name John Newberry, Steward. Left ship in Wellington.

Hello, I am wondering if anybody has any artifacts off the Remuera? Somewhere I found photographs of some spoons, mugs, serviette rings, even a gong type bell, all of which had come off this ship. We own a farm called Remuera, situated in Marlborough, New Zealand and I would be interested in purchasing something, especially the gong, as an item of historical interest and connected by name. thanks . Ainslie Green


Hi there in New Zealand...I was an engineer with NZSCo from 1952-1960 sailed on Haparangi, Nottingham , Rakaia, Hororata, Rangitoto, Dorset. Does anyone have any technical details of the Main Engine failure on the Rakaia. Would like to hear from anyone who may have sailed with me. Currently living in Sidmouth. Devon..UK.. {Within site of the Napoli which grounded a year ago] Les Hawking.


Hi, A few years ago I decided to see if I could find a couple of my old ship mates from the Norfolk, who, in 1962 had decided to emigrate to NZ, the problem was, I couldn't remember their surnames, a bit of research on the internet and I found that the ship's official log books had all been transferred to Memorial University of Newfoundland, Maritime History Archive, Saint Johns, NF Canada, A1C 5S7.
The lady in the archive was very helpful, and for a set fee of about $30.she sent me a photo copy of the complete ships log of the voyage.
It seems all ships logs of the British merchant fleet are now kept at Memorial, so if anyone needs information about ships and crews, ask at Memorial.
P.S. Have still not found my old ship mates, there names are Brian Grimes, Possibly worked on the Union Steamship Co as steward when he first arrived in Auckland, and Bernard (Bernie) Gardner, also went to Auckland 1963. Many thanks, Dick Reed


I sailed in the Rangatiki sometime in late 1944/early 1945 as a young boy aged about 2, from Canada to the UK. My father, Sgt Wilf Thompson had been an RAF Photographer based in Patricia Bay, Vancouver, and he had been lucky enough to have my Mother sail over to join him (in the Queen Mary). It is hard to imagine that a RAF SNCO could have such an accompanied posting during WW2! I was born in July 1943, and my sister followed a year later. What do I know about my voyage on the Rangatiki? Not a lot, except I recall being told many times by my parents that, during the voyage, I managed to lock myself in a toilet. Apparently, members of the crew had to dismantle a bulkhead to get me out! Much later, I joined the RAF and spent many a happy year `misbehaving` in a variety of aircraft from Shackletons to Nimrods and Vulcans to Canberras.


Hi., I was on the mv Durham in 1961 or there abouts as a stewards boy i had a buddy. Robert Stockton a deck hand. lost touch with sailed from Liverpool to Aus N/Zealand. Often wonder what old buddys are up to now. Donovan b Shaw


Hi people, I joined nzsco in 1963 on Otaio course 6 i think as an engineer cadet, sailed on all the H boats mug me !! loved them . got married on Huntingdon in Timaru 1970 Scott Munro ce gave us a day off murf the surf was my best man Richard Blight any one know of his where abouts now live in Australia between Brisbane and Canberra. talk to me chaps Keith p